I hear my daughter slowly trudge up the stairs. She walks over to me and pats my leg very gently.
"I'm sorry, Mama. So sorry."
She then walks back down stairs and gets back to playing. I follow because, well, I have to know what she is sorry about. And there it is. All over the bathroom floor. Liquid hand soap. Well, and the soap pump which is broken in two pretty even pieces. I guess I should be mad. But I'm not.
Ok, it stinks that now I have to clean up liquid soap which is pretty impossible. My floor is STILL slippery, by the way, and this was at least 2 weeks ago now. But, 1. ever since making a new shower curtain I've been looking for a reason to replace everything else, and 2. I know how slippery that thing can get when wet and I know it truly was an accident. Maybe I was in a good mood, too. Who knows? Point is, about 2 seconds after that soap was cleaned up and the dispenser tossed out, my brain was working on what I could replace it with.
I was walking through the Dollar Store about a week ago and saw this:
I had painted some mugs for my mom as a Christmas present last year and still had the ceramic paints at home. Plus, I had some brown and green which would be perfect for what I was picturing.
Now, before I go any further, let it be known that I am NOT an artist. In fact, I can't even believe I'm letting you all see what I did to this poor soap pump. It's not high fashion, but it looks nice and works. I think.
Also, it's made of ceramic. I know, I'm crazy. My daughter broke a soap pump that was at least 1/2 inch of solid plastic. I'm not kidding. That thing was THICK. Yes, Becca, replace it with something CERAMIC. That makes sense. Well, I figure it was all of $1. I think we can afford another one if I screw this one up or if it gets broken again. If she starts breaking one a week, I'll look for something a bit sturdier.
Since this piece was already fired, some people would suggest giving it a good wash and sanding the surface to make it rougher and to help the paint adhere better. I'm sure that works great, but I'm lazy (or maybe I was chasing my girls and got distracted). I didn't do it. I washed the thing, but not the sanding. I had about 15 minutes to spare and the sanding took up too much precious time. I didn't sand the mugs I had painted and they turned out fine and the paint is still on them after being washed and used several times.
Moving on. Washed. Dried. Now it's time to paint. As I said, I'm not an artist. I did a very simple design. I had seen something like this once at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and liked it, so I tried to make it look a LITTLE like what I envisioned it.
After painting, I let it dry for a good 24 hours. The next day, I heated up my oven to 200 degrees, placed the soap dispenser (plastic pump removed) on a cookie sheet and popped it in the oven. I then reduced the heat of the oven to 170 degrees (as low as it would go) and "baked" it for an hour. This "re-fires" the ceramic and really helps the paint bond to it so that it can be washed without removing paint. When the hour was up, I removed the dispenser and allowed it to cool all the way down.
Now it's ready for use!
Hope it lasts for at least a couple of weeks. :)